Those who love me will take the train or Patrice Chéreau's Limousin trip...


In 1997, when he set up his cameras to shoot Ceux qui m’aiment prendront le train, Patrice Chéreau was pleasantly surprised by the welcome he received from the inhabitants of the Limougeaude region. The scenery and the warmth of the people it met left a tasty taste. A very good experience for the director who died in 2013.

Its main character, Jean-Baptiste Emmerich had only one wish: to be buried in the Louyat cemetery in Limoges. Yet this irascible Parisian painter wanted his death to be a major inconvenience to those around him. He had confided before his death: “Well, those who love me will take the train”. A sentence heavy with meaning for the protagonists. There is no other choice for family and friends than to accompany the deceased by train to his final resting place.

The feature-length film thus stages this particular day in a train with about fifteen characters who have to live together for the occasion. Jean-Baptiste’s last journey starts from the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris and ends in Limoges (Haute-Vienne). The characters discover several limousine stations during this strange journey. First of all, that of Saint-Sulpice-Laurière (Haute-Vienne), a building built in 1856 between Bersac and La Jonchère, south of the La Roche tunnel. At its peak in 1930, this station was the third largest in the Limousin region after Limoges and Brive. Then comes the one of La Souterraine (Creuse), visible at the twenty-fifth minute. This intercity station was built at point 342.067 of the Orléans-Montauban line.

Finally, the route ends at Limoges-Bénédictins station (Haute-Vienne). Inaugurated in 1929, its art-deco style architecture earned it the inscription as a historic monument in 1975. Borrowed each year by 1.6 million passengers, it is the symbol of this great city of New Aquitaine.

In addition to scenes shot in Condat-sur-Vienne (Haute-Vienne), Feytiat (Haute-Vienne) or the Château de Ligoure (Haute-Vienne), the finale of Ceux qui m’aiment prenez le train takes place at the Louyat cemetery. Last place where Jean-Baptiste will rest, it is one of the largest cemeteries in France but also the only one in the Haute-Vienne prefecture. Many porcelain additions are on the tombs and monuments of the site, rather logical for the capital of this material. The film ends with a sublime aerial scene of the cemetery.

Those who love me will take the train is a nice way to discover a sample of stations in Creuse and Haute-Vienne on the SNCF’s small railway lines.

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By Anthony Thibault

Monday, November 26, 2018

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